ALABAMA MEN’S WHEELCHAIR BASKETBALL BEATS AUBURN, 62-38, IN SEASON OPENER
It was a different scene then years past. Alabama had to replace five seniors, players who were significant contributors to last year’s national championship. It’s no easy task, but the Crimson Tide is taking on the challenge. In the second game of the night, the bleachers are even more crowded, the cheers echoing through the arena are even more apparent to the ear.
But, for the first four minutes, there were only four points scored. It was sloppy, including several missed shots and turnovers. Ignacio Ortega led the team getting involved under the basket, creating turnovers and playing aggressive finishing with 24 points.
The players new to the lineup calmed down. The nerves turned into adrenaline. The Crimson Tide looked like it didn’t miss a beat.
A quarter way through the second half, Alabama had held Auburn to just 22 points.
With 11:41 remaining, there was a halt to the contest as an inadvertent whistle was blown. After several minutes of confusion, the game was resumed with a Lindy Bridges layup.
In a game people were unsure what to expect, they were able to see the future of the program. Freshman Grady Gordan and Parthasarathi Venkatram both got to see game action. Spencer Kimbro, Rashad Bennett, Abraham Hausman-Weiss, Ryan Jansen, Ortega and Bridges are starting to fill the roles of those players lost.
When there were moments the Crimson Tide looked shaky, they rebounded. They settled down. And, they began to click.